Yesterday I went to an event held in Boston called The Young Women's Summit 2016: A Focus on Women of Color & Evolutionary Womanhood. It was created and hosted by a woman named Ashante Fernandes. The purpose of the event was to encourage, educate, and support Black women in the community to succeed in whatever they do with confidence and boldness. What I took away from the five-hour event was Support Your Sister. There were many Black Women-owned businesses from a young high school senior who started a hair care line with her friend called Divine Curls. A college graduate who runs an online shopping business called BusyDayShopping. A Black woman who put a Black spin to Paint Night by creating Sanaa with Friends. Janina Ordonez started a business that caters to helping people monetize their authenticity. Michey has a business named Hands That Speak Jewelry, she makes one of a kind jewelry pieces. A woman from Tanzania started her own clothing line called ENARE. The House Of Nahdra who performed a fashion show for us as well as provided food creates fashion attire. Michelle Cook is a fitness coach that encourages women to make healthy choices through her business called Operation B Fit. There was a woman who provided delectable cupcakes also.
The sea of audience members with Afros to the nines were entertained by live poetry performances. I got my life snatched all the way together and elations of Black Girl Magic dripped from the corners of my lips. Surprisingly to the audience, we had poets sitting amongst the crowd who were invited to the front to share their soul with us. Their spoken word was so fierce, so relatable, so vivid it would but Def Jam Poetry to shame. Black women whose words cut to the roots of systematic White Supremacy and bleed lakes and rivers of truth. Her truth, my truth, OUR truth. After the poetry read we participated in libation where we honored family members who passed away (side note Dr. Sebi passed away yesterday, August 6th 2016) and welcomed GODs known and unknown into our divine feminine space. Lastly, there was a panel discussion with Black women from different walks of life to speak on issues that we needed to focus on. Some of these topics were womb health, dietary health, mental health etc.
As young Black women we are taught to fight, compete, and cut each other down. We are taught to judge one another and to fit into a narrative that wasn't written by us to appease other people, particularly men. We are told as Black women to persevere. To be strong and never ask for help. trauma, Trauma, TRAUMA plagues us but keep the status quo alive. Hush child and keep going strong they tell us. As Black women, our issues pertaining to our mental health, womb health, physical health and our interface with a racist system is met with deaf ears because Black Lives Matter but Black women's existence doesn't, unless she can be molded into the liking of other people's confines. Black women have so many constraints, limitation, critiques, standards, blockades, etc beginning as soon as we wake up in the morning. She speaks too loud; she looks standoffish; her hair is untamable, her clothes are trashy, her cadence is ghetto, her thoughts are neurotic, her beliefs are silly, her body isn't pretty, her skin is too dark, and the list goes on.
What the panel at the event shared with the women in the audience is that all the confines we've heard since birth are NOT made for us but to SEIZE our divine feminine energy. As Black women we shatter the mold and conquer. As in the case of Tiffany who was homeless and battled mental health. Sublime a poet who battled trauma. Michelle Cook who encourages fitness and has a 'Tell it like it is' attitude that's as refresh as a mint cocktail during a blizzard. We as young Black women need to be true to ourselves first and foremost but also true to our sisters. At the end, the audience was able to ask questions that the panel answered. I stated, You ladies stories have empowered me and so related from mental health, dietary health, and trauma. I know you've all said the word trauma. Since 2013 I've met several women battling trauma, specifically sexual trauma. Childhood sexual abuse including me and that's why I chose to write my truth and turn it into a book titled MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD. How do you ladies feel about Black women carrying this trauma and having to bury their truth to keep the taboo silent?"Ashante Fernandes took lead in answering the question by associating past traumas from slavery and how it's encoded in our DNA as well as how trauma is generationally passed down. How I like to call it, "generational curses" and they have a stronghold on us, but it's up to us to break them to save the generations after. This starts by speaking our truth combined with education, awareness, and prevention/punishment. After Ashante, other women on the panel gave their comments to the topic.
Before leaving the event, I exchanged contact information with these beautiful women. Some wanted to support MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD by purchasing the ebook on Amazon. I want to return the support by purchasing their items. My synopsis of the event is, we need to see ourselves in each other and make it our mission to support each other, not only financially but emotionally. Asking the simple question, "Are you okay sis could be the difference between a mental meltdown and a 10 minute decompression heart to heart session. Older women need not fear or ridicule the youth. You see a young girl with no guidance, pull her to the side and say, 'Baby girl, let me help you where your mother failed because as a woman myself, I've been there and done that. Let me show you the outcome of your actions.' Instead of hoarding information for yourself, spread the knowledge around. Let a friend or family member know of resources that can aid them in whatever endeavor. Simply, be your sister's keeper. Love your sister. Support your sister. Be kind to your sister. After all, we only have each other.
Purchase MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD now on Amazon Kindle: HERE or in the STORE page
Be Entertained. Be Blessed Be Loved.